What does it mean to be Irish?
‘We’ve been clever and stupid, principled and corrupt. We can be kind and cruel, guilty of dopey optimism and chronic fatalism. We’re friendly, but near impossible to get to know. We’re proud to be Irish but often crippled with self-loathing. We think we’re great, but not really. We find ourselves fascinating. Of course we do. We’re a paradox.’
There’s something about Irish people, about the way their minds work. But what does it mean to be Irish?
In his search for the key to the Irish psyche, Sean Moncrieff roams far and wide – from the pub to the dole queue, the laboratory to the pulpit. Packed with offbeat anecdotes, observations and intriguing detours into the murkier recesses of Irish history and culture, The Irish Paradox is a roadmap for those struggling to make sense of a country defined as much by its contradictions as its sense of community.